Mohammad Al Haj Asad


Mohammad Al Haj Asad is an international student studying at The University of Sydney. He is also the CEO and Co-Founder of HapTech Medical. Mohammad tells us about his experience in NSW.

I am a Jordanian citizen with Palestinian roots who was born and raised in Kuwait. At 3 years old, I started learning English at a local kindergarten in Pakuranga, New Zealand where I spent a year of my early childhood.  On returning to Kuwait, I continued to learn English as a first language along with Arabic as my mother tongue. At the age of 17, I started my tertiary education as a bioengineering and a mechanical engineering undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh, USA and was awarded the University Medal for first year students as a token of recognition of my academic achievements. I then decided to go on exchange at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore where I successfully expanded my international horizon both culturally and professionally.

In 2016, I decided to relocate to Australia and transfer to The University of Sydney as a recipient of the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship recognising my academic and professional record. This allowed me to engage with The University of Sydney’sVice-Chancellor, Dr. Michael Spence, to represent and discuss the needs of the international student community at a private event hosted by the Alumni Association.

I had a great first year as a biomedical and a mechanical engineering undergraduate at The University of Sydney. Across areas as diverse as inventing cutting edge, life-saving medical technology to developing initiatives that enrich the international student experience, I was successful in demonstrating my commitment to bring effective and meaningful change within the community.

I am the CEO and Co-Founder of HapTech Medical, a medical device start-up developed from an award-winning university project which received the Westmead Hospital MedTech Forum Warren Centre Award in 2016. Working with Incubate, an entrepreneurial program based at The University of Sydney, promoting the realisation of ideas, HapTech has built a diagnostics medical device to make breast cancer surgery more accurate by differentiating healthy and abnormal cancerous tissue during surgery. To date, HapTech has presented at various innovation forums, conducted research with over sixty surgeons, worked with four specialist breast surgeons and negotiated clinical trials in conjunction with Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (Sydney) and has the potential to impact thousands of lives globally.

Concurrently, I was interning as a Production Engineer at Imaxeon, a subsidiary of Bayer, where I was involved in their product development and product conformance activities. My professional placements were very beneficial and had a direct impact on my educational experiences as I was able to translate and apply the industrial knowledge I acquired to deliver high standard university projects.

At a local level, I facilitated connections between international students and the broader NSW community through several initiatives I implemented within the Queen Mary Building, an 800 bed on-campus student residence. Marking the end of my first year at The University of Sydney, I had the honor of being selected to represent the university as a nominee for the 2017 NSW International Student of the Year Awards.

I am really happy with the experiences I have acquired at The University of Sydney and the friendships I have nurtured. Sydney is a very much an international melting pot welcoming individuals of various backgrounds and catering for their needs. I am excited for my final semester as an undergraduate and look forward to completing further studies or working as an engineer in Australia.

This story is written by Mohammad Al Haj Asad - The University of Sydney